As some of you may know, cycling specific wind breakers or winter clothing can cost as much as a $100. The reason being is because for the most part, they do work. But wouldn’t be great if you could get your cold weather riding done with stuff you may already have? If you don’t have it, then I’ll show you what items you can use when the temperature drops.
Mind you for us Southern California riders, anything below 60 degrees is considered cold and when it drops down to 40 degrees, we typically will stay indoors. However, for those of you acclimated to much colder temperatures, this should work for you too!
First up is this Army BDU. It’s 100% cotton so it does a great job in allowing your body to breath while preventing the cold air from hitting your skin. I got this BDU from my brother who is in the Army. But you can get BDUs on the cheap from your local thrift store. What I typically do, is wear some sort of dry fit jersey as a base layer and the coat as an outer. This combination allows me to sweat and but because of the coat, I don’t get the chills. If I feel like I’m starting to heat up, then I’ll just unbutton to allow some air to flow.
Fleece is a great way to keep warm. Here is an example of an affordable fleece sweatshirt. Something like this cost around $20-$30 from Old Navy. Again I’ll wear a polyester base layer to manage my perspiration. My only complaint for this set up is the cold air that can come up the sleeves. This type of fleece isn’t cuffed, so you can either tuck it into your gloves or cuff it before you ride by folding it over.
Finally we have some flannel shirts. I like this set up because for one, they are super cheap. You can get one from Walmart for as cheap as $12! This works the same as the BDU, the cotton fabric allows some breath-ability without letting too much cold air in. This works best with a jersey as your base layer. The best part about this is you don’t have to be so careful with it since it’s cheap and pretty durable.
So there you have it, a few tips on keeping warm in the winter while on a budget. If you have some suggestions on what has worked for you, leave a comment below.